March 5, 2010

Tomato Soup

First off, let me say that it's a complete coincidence that I'm writing about food again. But really, just like yesterday's post, it's a launch into something else.

Some of you have noticed that I have a travel blog. And a food blog--only it's really not a food blog--it's a recipe blog so that when my kids call me up (or my mom or some of the church ladies) and say, "Can I have the recipe for. . ." I can refer them to my blog. It's a record. But that's not what this post is about.

It's about tomato soup. And travel.

One day a few years ago, we sat in a cafe high up on the hill above Prague and read the menu, trying to wrap our brains around what was listed and what we imagined that food item might look like. This exercise happened a lot, as we discovered that what we may think the food should like it often bore no resemblance to what they served us. At home, you sit, you eat. But eating while traveling in a foreign country is so much more.

We didn't want much--just something to tide us over until dinner. It was hot that day, but storm clouds were moving in from our right and we didn't know if we'd be rained on. We were nearing the end of our trip, so the budget was tight. And how long would they let us sit here and rest our feet, weary from climbing up to to the cathedral and beyond?

My husband insisted he didn't want anything, but I ordered "puree of tomato" not knowing what it was. It turned out to be soup. Tomato soup with a swirl of cream, and two breadsticks. And we nursed our $4 bottle of water and shared the soup and sat there while the clouds moved overhead and down into the valley, a show of lights and darks, some wind, but no rain, and we rested our feet and enjoyed the view and revived enough to go on touristing. We ate several meals while in Prague, but this impromtu meal remains one of our favorite memories.

I thought about that as I made up my version of Two-can Tomato Soup this afternoon. Like I said, I'm not a food blogger, but I do like to try and present the photo in a way that is appealing, and I thought of that day in Prague, with its garnish of breadsticks. In they went.

When we travel, we think the souvenirs are what we bring home with us, but I've noticed that it's the other things that travel home too, things like the craving for Venice's torrone, a recording of a new-to-me Canadian songwriter, a memory of the way the water dripped in a fountain in Japan, or something as simple as breadsticks in tomato soup.

Click to return.


  1. So today I will find the goods for that yummy looking tomato soup. It will be on the menu for Monday's book club! Regarding food and travel... to this day one of my favorite meals while living in Italy was a simple bowl of pasta bolognese. It was of course in Bologna. But thinking of that meal with my family brings back the where, when, how of that little trip going north. Great post. Now I'm hungry.

  2. Your post today brings back special memories from my travels. We also stopped a little place in the Cinque Terre to have a little break. I still remember eating a salami panini while taking in the beautiful scenery.

  3. It looks yummy! This is the thing that most concerns and simultaneously appeals to me about traveling.

  4. I will definitely be making that soup. I love the photo with the avocado floating in it. Beautiful. Thanks for your thoughtful comments on my blog, Elizabeth. It's good to connect through the Slice again...T-Dawg